"Focus," Trevallion said, tapping the holodisplay with his finger, "This is no time to day dream."
The others were looking at her. She turned back to the table.
"What do we know about them?" she asked.
Juliana coughed, and swept new information onto the display, "A small strike force accompanying a factory ship. The fact is mining the gas giant moons, currently at Lion's Eye. The strike force consists of three corvettes, a carrier and a marine transport. There's no way to tell what they're carrying, but we can guess infantry, walkers and atmofighters."
"Before they took out the satellites, long-range sensors said they came from Joddrel, so it's a given that they're Alliance."
There was a few seconds of quiet thought. No-one really understood what the Alliance and the Pentarchy were fighting over. The affairs of the core worlds, even that of their own founding nation, had always been distant and unimportant. They felt as though the war was none of their business, and yet it had come to them.
Trevallion broke the silence. "They have the firepower to destroy the city. That they haven't so far suggests they're either reluctant to cause that many civilian casualties or they need the spaceport operational. They can't bring anything overhead without it getting pulped by the meteor defence barrage, so they'll drop forces over the horizon. We've only got patchy detection coverage since they started popping sats."
Nicola gestured behind her. "Can we hold them off with these? Obsolete ships and hand-me-down equipment?"
"It's all we've got," Trevallion said, tightly, "All that's between them and five million people."
"We have got some advantages," Nicola said, "They'll have imaged the entire planet, but our geodrones have been crawling over it for fifty years. Home turf is one advantage. We have a bigger industrial base, if we can harness it, but their fact is designed for military production."
Bruno was sweating. He looked seconds away from throwing up. "I can't do this. I'm an agritech. We're all part-timers. Someone has to suggest it - wouldn't it be better if we surrendered?"
Trevallion's voice cracked a little. "The mayor tried. When they first arrived. They didn't even acknowledge the message."